Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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221. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will report on the deliberations to date of the oversight group established by his Department in association with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to advise on recent developments in a homeless charity (details supplied); if the review undertaken by a company of this organisation has concluded; if he is aware that several contractors employed by this organisation which are owed a substantial amount of money have not been paid to date; if he will endeavour to assist these contractors; if the organisation has complied with the conditions specified for receipt of emergency Government funding; if further emergency funding will be provided to this organisation; how much money has been given to this organisation by his Department in total since its foundation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13299/24]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of local authorities in addressing homelessness at a local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of homeless services rests with individual local authorities.

The named organisation informed the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and my Department of potential financial issues in the organisation in July 2023. The organisation also advised that it had separately informed the Charities Regulator and the AHB Regulator (AHBRA).

My Department and the DRHE formed an Oversight Group, chaired by an independent governance and legal expert, to review the financial and governance issues raised and to advise me appropriately. The DRHE also appointed PwC to undertake a review and preliminary and final reports were provided to the Oversight Group.

Following the Oversight Group's review of the recommendations made by PwC, I received a letter from the Chair of the Group. Having considered the contents of the Chair's letter and the information provided, my priority was to ensure that the services provided to homeless individuals and families would continue uninterrupted.

In this regard, proposals for the provision of funding, on an exceptional basis, were considered by Government. On 28 November, the Government approved funding on an exceptional basis of up to €15 million to be paid to the named organisation. Funding may be paid between December 2023 and 31 March 2024. There are 32 conditions attached to the provision of exceptional funding, including actions already undertaken/ underway as well as additional actions to be undertaken by the organisation.

The conditions provide for information to be provided to my Department and the DRHE, including updates in relation to budgeting and cashflow and the provision of a detailed restructuring and rationalisation plan outlining how the organisation will move to a financially sustainable position, relative to funding available from its funding partners. A detailed restructuring and rationalisation plan was received on 1 February 2024.

A new Oversight Group has been set up to oversee the implementation of the conditions attached to the exceptional funding. The new Oversight Group comprises of officials from my Department, the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and a local authority representative nominated by the CCMA.

The named organisation are subject to two ongoing investigations being undertaken by the Charities Regulator and the AHB Regulator (AHBRA). It is important that I do not compromise ongoing, independent investigations and therefore I cannot comment on their status or the matters under investigation. The priority of my Department is to ensure the continuation of the provision of homeless services.

My Department does not fund any homeless service directly but provides funding to local authorities towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and related services under Section 10 of the Housing Act, 1988. Under Exchequer funding arrangements, local authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Furthermore, local authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of the Exchequer funding arrangements provided by my Department. Therefore, the exact amounts spent by local authorities on homeless services, as well as the type and operation of homeless services are a matter for individual local authorities in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homelessness Consultative Forum.

Financial reports from each of the homeless regions setting out total expenditure on homeless services are published on my Department's website at the following link:


Financial reports for 2023 are currently being examined and will be published shortly.


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